Airline Announces New Passenger Weigh-In Policy

Finnish carrier Finnair has decided to weigh passengers and carry-on luggage before take-off. This controversial initiative began in Helsinki on Monday and intends to provide more accurate estimates of the plane’s weight.

Finnair spokesperson Kaisa Tikkanen said over 500 volunteer customers have already participated in the weigh-ins. The airline emphasizes that these measurements balance the weight of the aircraft, its interior, and the passengers on board, ultimately ensuring a safe and smooth flight.

Traditionally, airlines rely on average weights provided by aviation authorities, usually assumed to be 88kg, or collect their data. Finnair assures potential passengers that the collected data is separate from customers’ personal information, offering peace of mind. Only the customer service agent overseeing the weighing process can access the total weight.

However, this announcement has sparked a range of reactions on social media. Some users express concern, fearing that the initiative may lead to embarrassment for overweight passengers and labeling it as “cruel.” These individuals vow to avoid flying with Finnair in the future. On the other hand, some see the policy as a potential solution to the obesity crisis and welcome Finnair’s efforts.

One user strongly criticizes the airline, stating that she will not travel with Finnair because she refuses to be “fat-shamed.” Another user expresses shock and disgust, labeling the policy draconian and unnecessary for passenger safety.

Ensuring passenger safety and optimizing aircraft performance are top priorities for airlines. In line with this commitment, Finnair, a leading European airline, has announced a new initiative to weigh passengers on select flights. This voluntary weigh-in program aims to gather accurate data for calculations essential for flight operations.

The voluntary weigh-ins will occur in February, April, and May, allowing Finnair to collect data across travel seasons. The airline will also take note of age, gender, and class of travel, providing comprehensive insights for their calculations.

In 2020, Korean Air launched a similar program to weigh passengers on selected routes. The aim was to reduce wasted fuel and improve the accuracy of weight estimations for their planes.

The importance of weight management in aviation was highlighted in a previous incident involving easyJet. Due to weight restrictions, a flight from Lanzarote to Liverpool had to ask 19 passengers to reschedule. The airline confirmed this was a routine operational decision for safety reasons.

To address concerns about fairness, Finnair intends to compensate volunteers who participate in the weigh-in program. This aligns with industry practices where airlines compensate passengers in situations such as overselling tickets.